Wednesday, September 2, 2015

RttE: Gone Gustave Gone

Ok, so I am SORRY that is has been so long since I've continued reviewing RttE episodes! Man, school is just eating my time. But, I do have just enough time to move forward. Haha, I will also say that a few... well... negative vibes I got from this episode kept me from really wanting to review it. No worries, though, there are a couple episodes that I haven't reviewed that I LOVE, so I won't always have to pout like a big baby boo.
Ok, let's start with the positives:
I like the fact that they brought Gustav back. Sure... he cause the main riders a lot of grief and annoyance, but it is nice to see some major continuity between RoB/DoB and this new series.
Another thing that this episode got totally RIGHT was Dagur's personality. He continues to be more and more sinister, but at the same time he has a bizarre comedy about him. I loved when he yelled "Because I said so!" to Savage... eye twitch and all. It is also nice to see that he really does want to get his hands on the Dragon's Eye. I'm really curious about that little artifact's history... and I feel pretty sure that we'll get to learn more about it in the future.
Neat to see that we have more than one lens for he Dragon Eye. I imagine that will allow us to get a lot more episodes in the future :)
I also like how the series keeps showing how Hiccup wants to design something so that he can glide solo. It is nice to have some build up to his flight suit (which I will obviously discuss more fully when I review The Next Big Sting).
Good ol' Toothless is showing off his mean, boss side. He's totally willing to fire shots at Dagur's feet. That was fun.
And... even though it was a tiny detail and I doubt we'll ever see these items get used, I really liked all of Toothless's tail fins Hiccup has collected. It was also really fun that Toothless seems so protective of them! It seems really in keeping with his character to be touchy about his stuff... after all he wasn't happy when Hiccup stepped on his art during the Forbidden Friendship scene.

Negatives... Here it comes. I'll start with what bugged me least:
Gustav is... unfortunately... kinda aggravating! I know he's supposed to be... but still. He's also a little too gross for me to really enjoy having him on screen. I mean, he's got long, weird, whiskers, he belches loudly, and he even has these flirtatious fantasies with Astrid. Put that together and he becomes the a kinda irksome character. I know that's the point, so it isn't a huge strike against the episode... but there you have it.
Does Dagur ever carry a weapon? You'd think he'd want to kill people with something other than his bare hands... Anyway.
Ok... but the real issue with the episode is what the episode pretty much revolved around... the fact that Hiccup gets really, really mad at Gustav. I cannot begin to express how OUT OF CHARACTER that stuff felt. I know Hiccup could get upset, that seems reasonable, but if ANYBODY could SYMPATHIZE with Gustav... wouldn't it be Hiccup?? Why is Hiccup the one being the harshest with him? Gustav went and did something really stupid trying to prove himself... and in doing so he risked the lives of other people and his own dragon. Ok... so that's pretty bad, but hasn't Hiccup done that hundreds of times before? Does Hiccup not remember trying to make his own mark? Does he not remember being fifteen and rushing out blindly into danger just to try and make people proud of him? Does he not remember being humiliated in front of the village again, and again, and again? I really doubt that a person who had spent so much of his life trying to prove himself would be able to be as harsh as Hiccup was. He was dismissive, hard, and uncaring. That doesn't fit the Hiccup I know. That doesn't fit the empathic soul that could look at a trapped, hurt, helpless dragon and say "I looked at him and I saw myself". If Hiccup has that much empathy, enough empathy to change his world... you'd think he would be much, much gentler in his rebuke of Gustav. I really can't see myself ever being convinced that this episode kept Hiccup in character... so that is a major, MAJOR strike against it.

Final score... 2.5 out of 5. I'm still glad we got the episode, and I think certain elements were good... but the main reason I love the HTTYD franchise is for the characters. When you get Hiccup out of character, it makes it really hard for me to enjoy the episode :(

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